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Lowell-based Watermark Environmental Wins SBA Massachusetts and New England 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award

Release Date: 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Release Number: 
Norman Eng 617-565-8510

BOSTON – Watermark Environmental has been named the 2016 Massachusetts and New England 8(a) Graduate of the Year according to an announcement by Robert Nelson, Massachusetts SBA District Director.

“Watermark Environmental stood out while in our 8(a) program by delivering exceptional value and lowered risk on contracts with government clients,” said Robert Nelson, SBA Massachusetts District Director.  “They have a combination of in-house design, engineering, and a full spectrum of construction management teams that are able to eliminate potential conflicts by being integrated.”  

John Haley, the principal of Watermark was born and raised in the City of Lowell and felt very strongly about establishing his firm’s corporate headquarters in the same community to give back.  Mr. Haley co-founded Watermark in 2001 after a successful career as a laborer and foreman.  Today, Watermark has grown to 71 employees and has been consistently profitable and financially stable.

Watermark transitioned from the SBA 8(a) program to become a vibrant company that has successfully competed in the ‘Small Business’ and ‘Unrestricted’ categories for federal contracts. Part of the goal of the 8(a) program is to ensure that graduates are able to compete in the non-8(a) market while maintaining a consistent revenue stream. Watermark strengthened their business development group and expanded their teaming strategies to be competitive after the program, positioning them to be successful in winning non-8(a) contracts with clients such as the Navy.  

“SBA’s assistance and guidance have been instrumental in Watermark’s success after graduation from the 8(a) program,” said Haley. “We listened to the SBA and understood the purpose of the SBA’s 8(a) program was not to provide us work but to provide us with additional contracted opportunities to complement our long term sustainable business plan.”

Watermark through the growth of the business has been supported by two SBA loans, utilized SCORE counseling and SBDC assistance to grow the business.

Watermark Environmental will be honored along with the other Massachusetts Small Business Week 2016 award winners at a luncheon event at the Westborough Doubletree on May 6, 2016.  


About SBA National Small Business Week:

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.  As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories.  Every day, they’re working to grow small business, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.


About Watermark Environmental Inc.:

Watermark was founded in 2001. It began as an Environmental company supporting a Superfund site. In 2009, Watermark acquired Belanger & Foley, Inc., a leading professional Architectural, Planning, and Engineering firm. Founded in 1994, Belanger & Foley, Inc. provided professional architectural, planning, and engineering services to hundreds of clients in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire under the guiding principles of Commitment – Quality – Community. For more information on Watermark Environmental Inc., please visit: